Happy Monday! Its once again kick off a new week on the right note by checking out some of the comic books released last week. For this week’s edition of the Monday Morning Comic Book Reviews I will be checking out how Black Widow #12 and Robin #7 turned out. Both of these comics are some of my favorite that Marvel and DC Comics are publishing right now. Let’s see if that momentum created by Black Widow and Robin continue in their respective October 2021 releaes.
Writer: Kelly Thompson
Artist: Elena Casagrande
Inker: Elisabetta D’Amico
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
The Good: With Natasha Romanoff and Yelena Belova forming their team with Spider-Girl’s Anya Corazon and Marigold’s Lucy Nguyen its time to dig back into the spy world. Adding in Bucky Barnes and Clint Barton as part-timers in the team that Natasha has in mind is a great way to compliment how Anya and Lucy are still new to the game. Natasha wants to make sure her proteges are set up for success. Which helps to further bring out the personalities of Anya and Lucy as they aren’t tense the entire time during the mission in Black Widow #12 since they know they are there for support right now.
Adding in Bucky and Clint to the mission also gave Kelly Thompson time to explore the current state of their relationship. In particular, I like that Thompson chose the relationship between Natasha and Bucky to dig into. These two have a natural chemistry with each other even when things get uncomfortable you know there is more. The addition of Bucky having to make sure Natasha does not find her Stevie and James makes their relationship have a level of tension that may never go away between them.
The ending of Black Widow #12 adds a new enemy that is directly tied to Natasha’s past. The new villain named Living Blade is something that Black Widow’s franchise has needed. So far Natasha has taken on villains that are part of other people’s rogues gallery. The only personal villain that is just hers is the members of the Red Room. Getting away from that by making the Living Blade tied to her pre-superhero days as Black Widow is a great change of pace.
Elena Casagrande once again delivers some of the best comic book art in the industry. The gala setting further drives this home with how Casagrande, along with inker Elisabetta D’Amico and colorist Jordie Bellaire, give Natasha, Yelena, Bucky, and Clint their own personal style with the clothes they were for the party. Its little touches like this that make the spy mission they go on even more fun. Casagrande also helped immediately position the Living Blade as a major threat in his first appearance.
The Bad: Nothing.
Overall: Black Widow #12 continues the trend of this series being the best comic book Marvel is publishing. Kelly Thompson and Elena Casagrande did a great job making the latest spy mission Natasha Romanoff and her crew go on have a great deal of tension and excitement. The ending with a new villain being introduced created even greater anticipation for what will take place in the latest story arc for Black Widow.
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Gleb Melinikov and Max Dunbar
Colorist: Luis Guerrero
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
The Good: There is no time to waste even with big revelations made as Damian Wayne goes from one fight to another during the Lazarus Tournament. The pacing for Robin #7 is really on point as Joshua Williamson gives the two big fights Damian is part of time to get over how serious of a fighting tournament he and the others are in. The final four being Damian, Flatline, Ravager, and Connor Hawke. Actually going through the finals of the tournament so quickly further emphasized how these fights are to the death. Which sets the stage well for the final battle that will take place in the next issue of Robin.
Along the way we get the major revelation that Mother Soul is Damian’s grandmother and Ra’s Al Ghul’s mother was something that was needed for her character to take the next step. This development certainly increases the intrigue into what Mother Soul’s endgame is with the Lazarus Tournament. Which adds to the stakes at hand with the final fight that is teased at the end of Robin #7.
Gleb Melinikov and Max Dunbar work well together to make the artwork maintain the energy style that has made this Robin series standout from the pack. The artwork comes across as manga artwork that uses comic book style coloring. With how many different fights go on the artwork is able to get across the various fighting styles employed by each character.
The Bad: The one disappointing thing that does take place in Robin #7 is the lack of consequences for Respawn and other characters surviving their defeats. The Lazarus Tournament has been built on the fear of death for all the competitors that lose their fight. But now it seems like this ramification has been taken away without a proper explanation. Which makes the risk the final four take not as extreme as originally presented.
Overall: Robin #7 is another fun chapter in the Lazarus Tournment. Joshua Williamson, Gleb Melinikov, and Max Dunbar waste no time getting through the tournament as we reach the finals by the end of the issue. The pacing makes this final match have much more hype around it as the competitors have built a personal rivalry the deeper we’ve gotten into the tournament.
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